Over the weekend, I had the extraordinary pleasure of traveling to the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Western Michigan, where my two older kids were finishing up a session.
Blue Lake educated over 5,000 kids each summer. More that 2/3 are helped by a vibrant scholarship fund, to which we as citizens contribute.
The camp is located in a forest near Lake Michigan. It's sort of in the middle of nowhere. When you enter, it's like the scene where Dorothy emerges from the house that's just fallen out of the sky, except instead of Munchkin Land, you're in Band Land.
In the following thread, I'll show some pictures from my trip.
Here's a shot of the youngest band that my 12 year old played in.
They have three hours a day of full band rehearsal, and an hour each of sectionals and technique. In the evenings they're treated to concerts by professional artists and the staff puts on recitals. (There's free time for swimming and horsing around.)
In this shot you can see the wind band in the foreground and the string orchestra in the background.
Blue Lake also has full-time programs in Jazz and piano.
Here's the Red Band in performance later in the morning. They are high school kids. They play very demanding music and nail it.
Next time I'm feeling low, all I need to do is close my eyes and remember what these kids accomplished and sounded like with such a talented staff, and such a wonderful, inclusive environment and I will snap out of it.
Ken, Thanks for the pictures. They really brought back some memories. Both of my sons attended summer music camps from the 4th grade to their High school senior years. To this day, my 32 and 27 year olds count those camps as some of the most meaningful experiences of their lives. Friendships that were forged then continue to last.
I had the privilege of teaching for several years at the Senior high camp and was always amazed at what was accomplished during 10 days of intense study and rehearsal.
Congratulations to you and your wife as parents for giving your children this opportunity.
Posts: 343 | Location: South Georgia | Registered: Sat January 31 2004